If dogs will eat almost anything, why then, would they have nutrient deficiencies? Well, maybe that's the point exactly. If left to their own devices, living in the wild, dogs would instinctively know what to eat, to prevent a nutrient deficiency problem. Only if they couldn't get enough to eat, or if they were scrounging around in human garbage would malnutrition be an issue.
Since our dogs live with us, they are dependent on us for their source of food. We love our dogs. We want the best for them. We honestly believe we are doing right by them, but sometimes with all the best of intentions, we are not providing optimal nutrition for our dogs.
Malnutrition is the insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients. A number of different nutrition disorders may arise, depending on which nutrients are under or over abundant in the diet.
( Wikipedia )
Anyway, I don't want to get carried away with these examples. I just want to let you know what can happen if dogs are not fed a variety of fresh food in a way that is natural for their species.
As much as I hate to admit it, nutrient deficiencies in dogs rarely happen with dogs fed a commercial store bought dog food. No matter how poor the ingredient quality may be, there are still government regulated requirements ( AAFCO ) for vitamins minerals and some other essential nutrients that are met using a prepared vitamin premix that is added to the food after processing.
Here are some other reasons why a dog may be nutrient deficient.
Deciding whether or not to supplement your dog's food is not easy. Over supplementation can destroy nutritional balance and even harm your dog. However, I believe that some supplementation is necessary, since only Mother Nature provides perfect dog nutrition.
Even if extra nutrients are added to food, who says that your dog is able to digest and metabolize those nutrients for proper assimilation? The ability of your dog's body to metabolize nutrients can be affected by the quality and type of nutrients used, age and breed of your dog, state of general health, medications and drugs.
If you have a sick dog, or if your dog has a chronic dog health problem, you might wonder if he has a vitamin deficiency? You might possibly be correct, but how do you find out which vitamin or mineral is lacking? Don't bother! Almost certainly, he can benefit from some targeted whole food supplements that can address the nutrient deficiency problem overall, help restore nutritional balance and speed the healing process.
Plants can provide a wide range of nutrients in a whole food form that is easily digested and assimilated by your dog's body if they are properly prepared and served in small amounts. This would mimic what would be provided by Mother Nature. Wild dogs eat herbivores mostly, and so receive the nutritional benefit of plants without actually eating a large amount of plant matter themselves.
Nutritional deficiencies are unnecessary and can be prevented when the diet is complete and varied. Feeding a variety of different foods on a rotation basis goes a long way towards preventing problems. Over supplementing is as dangerous as not doing enough.The books listed on the left side of this page contain excellent information to teach you how to prepare food for your dog using common foods we all have at home or can easily get.
As always, providing excellent dog nutrition through food is not rocket science. When in doubt ask yourself this question.
" Would Mother Nature give my dog this food? "
Helpful hint...pizza crust, ice cream, bread, peanut butter, hot dogs, granola bars and chocolate chip cookies are not on Mother Nature's menu! (wink, wink ! )
Learn more about feeding dogs
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Nutrient deficiencies in dogs occur because of incorrect or insuffient feeding. Look for these malnutrition symptoms.
Overfed and fat, but malnourished Springer. What a shame!
Starving, underfed malnourished Springer. Heartbreaking!
Slim, fit and handsome Springer. My beautiful properly nourished Pager!
Pureed raw carrots
An excellent source of vitamins A,C,D,E,K, B1,B6. Carrots are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, biotin, sodium and trace minerals. Lutein, lycopene, antioxidants, alpha, beta and gamma carotenes, zeaxanthin, and xanthophyll are phytonutrients that are necessary for healing.
Just a tablespoon for big dogs or a teaspoon for little dogs a day, will do it!
You must puree them though, to make them digestable for your dog!
Puree 3 carrots with a few sprigs of parsley and 400 mls of water+
Parsley is rich with chlorophyll, vitamin A, B, C, and K, folate and iron and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vanadium, and zinc.
Puree together with your carrots
The nutrients in blueberries include selenium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, anthocyanin, vitamins A, C, E and B complex.
That is one busy
Puree,...careful, not too much... and add to the carrots and parsley.